In dire need of runs, Dodgers attempt to acquire Carlos Lee from Astros

LOS ANGELES – Seeking more production from an offense that has gone quiet in the absence of Matt Kemp, and having lost all of a 7 1/2 –game lead in the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers were attempting to acquire Carlos Lee from the Houston Astros on Friday night.

Not the power threat he once was, Lee, 36, has five home runs and 29 RBI in 60 games for the Astros. He is, however, batting .291, has an on-base percentage of .344, and would be an upgrade at first base over James Loney, production-wise.

Lee has partial no-trade protection in his contract. He would have to agree to a trade to the Dodgers. The Astros likely would have to pick up a good portion of Lee’s remaining salary. In the final year of his six-year, $100-million contract, Lee is due $18.5 million, about half of which remains.

Kemp has played in only two games since May 13 because of a strained hamstring. He is expected to return after the All-Star break. The Dodgers also are without Andre Ethier, who has an oblique injury.

In the National League, only the Miami Marlins have scored fewer runs in June than the Dodgers.

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